KNOXVILLE (WVLT) - The Bearden Bulldogs and Karns Beavers both have every reason to be deflated.
Bearden surged to an early 10-0 lead over archrival Farragut Friday, only to surrender 21 unanswered points en route to a 35-28 double overtime loss, breaking the Bulldogs' three-game winning streak to start the season.
Meanwhile, Karns has dropped its last three games after a season-opening win over Lenoir City. The Beavers' most recent defeat came at the hands of Powell, 23-7.
But despite their recent setbacks, both West Knoxville squads still have plenty of fight. For Karns, the road to recovery starts with unity.
"[First-year head coach Robert] Reeves has brought a whole new attitude to this team," Beavers quarterback Kyle Boden said. "We break on 'family.' We've really enforced that -- playing together. We're not one individual or two individuals, we're eleven as one."
They'll need to play as one unit to contain a potent Bearden offense. Senior running back Torey Works is averaging 98 yards per game, and quarterback Dawson Halliday, a fourth-year starter, has thrown for 558 yards and two touchdowns. He's also run for three.
Meanwhile, Karns' offense revolves around its rushing attack. Running back Logan Hammontree leads the way with 251 yards on only 13 carries -- a 19-yards-per-carry average. Enrique Porter has contributed 186 yards and three touchdowns.
Tune in to Friday Night Lights Friday evening for in-depth highlights and analysis of this and other area games.
IN OTHER AREA ACTION...
Oak Ridge looks to go 4-0 for only the second time this decade when it visits Heritage. The Mountaineers (0-3) are still looking for their first win of the season. They fell to rival Maryville 42-6 last week.
Powell is 3-0 for the first time since 2002, but it will have to play well to unseat Maryville, who is ranked first in 4A by the Associated Press. The three-time defending state champs haven't lost since 2003, a 48-game winning streak.
West visits Halls in a battle between two region foes on highs after big wins last week. West (2-2) throttled Sevier County, 41-14, and Halls (2-1) rocked Gibbs, 35-7. Jake Ryan and the Rebels passing attack will look to outscore a talented Halls offense, who dropped 28 points on Sevier County in the season opener.
Tune in to Friday Night Lights for highlights of these -- and other -- area games.